"What? When Baba clicks, this sofa will not be empty, Be assured!"

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"...The group (Telengana group) was very much attached to Baba. They crowded round the sofa when Baba was in the room on the first floor. They stroked the feet and gradually made bold to exert extra pressure, pretending to perform the Seva of 'mild' massage. I had to nuzzle through them to secure a crevice between their toroses through which I could caress the Lotus Feet. One day while Baba was tickling us into waves of laughter, Parthasarathi from Madras got a brilliant idea. He pulled his camera from its bag and taking good aim. shot and bagged a picture of us around the Feet and of Baba lit with smiles. At this Baba rose and asked for the camera. I feared that He might nullify the portrait and negate the negative by holding the camera in His hand. Instead, He told Parthasarathi "Come! Stand behind the sofa, I shall click the next one". The Telengana brothers did not welcome the plan. They shouted -they had not yet learnt that still small voice we were used to-that the empty sofa did not deserve to be photographed. I protested, "What? When Baba clicks, this sofa will not be empty, Be assured!". And, Baba responded with an emphatic "Right Kasturi!" I kept my right palm on the foot-stool when Baba was peering through the lens. My intention was to test whether in the picture that must materialise, my palm would appear below the sole or above the foot. But Baba noticed it and He said, "No! Take off'. I had to obey.

When He returned the camera to Parthasarathi, He said, "Hey! Be careful. I am there." At that, I asked Parthasarathi, ''You must give each of us a copy," and looking up to Baba, I implored, "Swami, you must tell him to give us copies or else, he won't". And, to our great joy, Baba directed him to send a postcard size print to every one. It came into my hands, ten days later. Baba is sitting in the chair, His face and hair slightly blurred with a look of surprise at the role He had imposed on himself.

Though I admired the deep devotion of the Telengana group, I was unable to appreciate their blatant pranks, often in Bhagawan's very presence. I saw them open Baba's silver pan-box and take supari for their own use. I witnessed them behaving like the cowherd boys of Vrindavan, carrying away bunches of bananas which were near Baba's room and plunging into a peeling spree and finishing off the lot. "They ought not swagger so," I told my neighbour, Radhakrishnan of Coimbatore. He too shook his head in fierce disapproval. We resented their 'disregard' of the pervasive and profound sanctity of the place. We commented, confidentially of course, on the phenomenal tolerance with which Baba was allowing them to strut about. The climax for us was when Baba agreed to accompany them to their native villages when they decided to leave.

The jeeps which had brought them weeks previous and which helped us to reach various picnic spots, (among the hills, inside the jungles and along the Chithravathi) now turned homewards. I had heard them plan visits with Baba to many beauty spots in and near the Telengana countryside. Some place names, like Ekasilapuri, the ancient capital of the Kakatiya Empire and Ajanta, the centuries old repository of Buddhist fresco paintings, aroused in me a great longing to join the party. I had years previous taken my students on an educationa). tour to those places, but visiting them again as a member of the party that Baba the Supreme Artist leads, would certainly elevate me, I felt. No one knew whom Baba would favour with the direction to get ready to join. So, most of us stood on tiptoe.

I saw two big leather boxes come down the circular stairs, from Swami's room. At the same moment, one of the Telenganas ran down to where I stood and said, very excitedly, "Swami wants you". Though he did not finish the sentence, I could surmise the message, "Jump into a jeep." When I leaped up, two steps at a time, I found Baba talking to Seshagiri Rao, the septuagenarian. Baba turned to me and said, "Kasturi! Stay here itself. I am taking Seshagiri Rao with me.You did not quite like these people being so free with me. It was sheer envy that bothered you. You and your Radhakrishnan! Could you not be happy that so many from Telengana came to Swami and did such splendid seva and earned so much grace from Me? This Seshagiri Rao was happy for that very reason. So, I am not taking you with me. Seshagiri Rao! Go and sit in the jeep."

That was it! I came down the eighteen steps heavy laden with remorse and repentance. I stood stupefied, when Baba and His cowherd companions drove away, along the bumpety-humpety road which will take them to the asphalt highway to Hyderabad! That was the first time I was stuck in such lacerated loneliness. I could not attend to anything but the wound my 'superiority complex' had inflicted on me. I diagnosed the complex with the help of my accomplice, Radhakrishnan. :dhakthi need not always be packed in starched shirts. I had misread their open-heartedness as audacity, their innocence as boorishness. I must cast overboard the tawdry academic acquisitions that weighed me down. They did not help me to rise in Baba's estimation - the University Degrees, the pedagogic self-esteem, the metropolitan veneer of hollow etiquette. Like Seshagiri Rao, I must be engaged wholeheartedly in the duties I am assigned and not entangle myself in the gyrations of others. Judge not, lest you be judged, I warned myself. I strove to make myself fit to be in the Divine presence by eschewing my ancient and deep-rooted Koravanji tendency to seek out the failing and faults of others. I attempted to divert my sense of humour towards discovering, within the layers of rocks, the precious veins of goodness and godliness.

The Nilayam was denuded and desolate since Baba had left me behind, to nurse the sickness in my mind. I sought rigorously to cleanse my cynicism, a handicap which Baba has often categorised as evil number one. To relieve my distress, I spent larger hours in prayer and meditation....."   










Source: Loving God - P 220

 Loving God Book cover
                          Prof.N.Kasturi, long time close associate of Bhagawan and author of His biography, Sathyam Sivam Sundaram brings forth exhilarating account of experiences with the Lord walking on two feet and thus imparts to the readers the magical divine formula as how total surrender makes one to near and dear to God.

ISBN 81-7208-169-3


Loving God by N. Kasturi

Each person has to live the volumes of biography, which we bring with us, page after page, howsoever punctuated with dots and dashes, interrogations and exclamations, commas and colons, until the sentence ends ultimately with a Full Stop. The author says ‘Luckily I have as my inseparable consul, Bhagavan Himself; He dots the I’s and crosses the t’s as I live the lines on every page. He has made the Book of Life my biography – momentous and meaningful for me’. This book contains a bunch of the author’s reminiscences, which may be welcomed by many readers.


This is a spiritual autobiography by one of Swami's most famous devotees, who was also the author of The Life of Sathya Sai Baba as well as editor of Sanathana Sarathi and numerous Swami volumes. This book covers the adventurous and fascinating early years of Prof. Kasturi's scholarly life in South India as well as the many blissful years of personal relationship in service to Swami at Prashanti Nilayam. One is amazed throughout the autobiography by the prodigious accomplishments and remarkable industry of this gentle man. The stories, the joy, the miracles, flow continuously. This is a life story filled with many spiritual rewards.